Binge Break: The Gilmore Girls are there to lead us through

When it feels like the end of times, art can lend a hand in offering us some comfort. Gilmore Girls is one of those shows that does just the trick.



“Gilmore Girls: The Complete Fifth Season” (Warner, 22 episodes, six discs, $59.98) collects the 2004-05 season, which ended with Rory in trouble and Lorelai proposing to Luke.

Kayli Reese, Managing Editor

When my best friend Emily was in Colorado several months ago, she caught a Gilmore Girls marathon on TV in her hotel room. She later told me, “I don’t think anything bad can happen while that show is on.”

It’s a sentence that has stuck with me over the past four weeks I’ve been back at my Wisconsin home, away from the college home I anticipated savoring through April and May before graduation. I’ve started yet another Gilmore Girls re-watch since I’ve been home; it’s one of my favorite shows of all time and has been a great sense of comfort to me.

For those unfamiliar with Gilmore Girls, the classic series follows mother-and-daughter duo Lorelai (the brilliant Lauren Graham, who deserved Emmys for this) and Rory (ever-charming Alexis Bledel) through their life in the small town of Stars Hollow, Connecticut. The show ran from 2000-2007 before finding a new generation on Netflix, resulting in a very controversial revival (personally, I change my opinions on the revival any time I think about it).

I found myself incredibly attached to the central female characters. Lorelai is, in my opinion, one of the best written characters that’s been on TV. She has a complicated relationship with her parents, a fierce love for her daughter, and a coffee addiction that’s unparalleled. Rory grows from a shy, bookish student to a confident journalist following her dreams at Yale (though she did make some questionable choices along the way).

Emily Gilmore (the queen Kelly Bishop), Lorelai’s mother, should also be taken into account as a central figure. A commanding presence with some of the best one-liners, she goes through the best journey from the pilot to revival, prodded by the tragic death of Edward Herrmann, who played Emily’s husband Richard, before the revival was filmed.

Related: Binge Break: Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is singing the song in our heads and hearts

The plot is that simple, really — just a very close mother and daughter talking very fast and referencing lots of pop culture, as any show written by Amy Sherman-Palladino and Dan Palladino should be. But my goodness, do you get invested. There’s the kooky cast of characters that populate Stars Hollow. There’s the classmates that bring color to Rory’s life, especially scene stealer Paris (Liza Weil). There’s many boyfriends to debate and rank.

Each time I watch the show, it takes an agonizing amount of time for Lorelai and diner owner Luke (Scott Patterson) to get together, and I found myself cheering upon re-watching their first kiss. Also, the debate of which of Rory’s boyfriends are the best is as strong as ever. I’ve never met anyone who’s a fan of Dean (Jared Padalecki), I know DI reporter Kinsey Phipps made a very good argument for Logan (Matt Czuchry) to me once, but my heart, now and always, belongs with Jess (Milo Ventimiglia). I will often only re-watch season two and three of Gilmore Girls just to see the Jess-centric storyline.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that Gilmore Girls is a cozy blanket in show form, focused on people and what they mean to each other. It’s people that I’m longing for as I face another potential four weeks in my home. I had my own colorful cast of characters in my college life, and that feels very far away from me right now. I think a lot about how I pictured my last night in The Daily Iowan newsroom, one last night out with friends from freshman year, one simple Freddy’s run.

I miss them all, so I escape to Stars Hollow.